Afternoon Coffee: U.S. Moves Forward With Steel and Aluminum Tariffs, China Takes Dominant Position in Lithium Supply Scramble

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The U.S. will enact steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union, Reuters reports, reigniting fears of a global trade war. The U.S. allies will face a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports starting at midnight. Although the Trump administration said it was open to continuing negotiations, the government is also looking into further measures to address trade imbalances, including a potential tariff on foreign car imports.

Lithium Control

After paying more than $4 billion to become the second-largest shareholder in Sociedad Química y Minera (SQM), a Chilean mining company, Chinese Tianqi Lithium now controls nearly half of the current global production of lithium, Quartz reports. Along with the stake in SQM, Tianqi owns 51% of Australia’s Greenbushes lithium mine, giving it multiple sources from which to produce coveted lithium-ion batteries.

Bamboo Rose Expands              

Bamboo Rose, a B2B solution provider for the retail industry, announced Tuesday it had expanded to better serve the needs of its E.U. customers by opening an office in Belfast, Northern Ireland, according to a press release. The bulk of the Belfast employees will focus on software development and engineering, increasing Bamboo Rose’s global support and services. 

Beige Book 

And finally, an economic update: The Fed’s Beige Book found that economic activity expanded at a moderate pace this spring, supported in part by a pick up in manufacturing, the Wall Street Journal reports. While the news for manufacturing was positive, firms did mention they felt wary about the potential effects of tariffs on their prospects for future growth.

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